Salmon farms not harming wild salmon stocks

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

I am writing in response to the April 4 letter submitted by Paul Michael White. Given his stated family connections to the wild Atlantic salmon fishery, he of all people should know that most of the declines in wild Atlantic salmon populations started in the 1970s and 1980s in Newfoundland and Labrador and across Atlantic Canada.

In fact, the government bought out commercial Atlantic salmon licences in the early 1990s when a moratorium was imposed due to the poor status of wild populations.

This happened long before any salmon farming began in earnest in this province (since 2003), and we currently farm in an area representing less than two per cent of the entire 17,542 kilometres of coastline in Newfoundland and Labrador.

White says “the truth is backed by science.”

The truth is, Fisheries and Oceans Canada continues to monitor stock status in Canada, and the greatest threats to wild salmon recovery/wild populations continue to be intercept fisheries (off St-Pierre and elsewhere), poaching, bycatch in commercial fisheries, habitat alteration by dams, roads, pollution and climate change … all very well documented by DFO Science.

Salmon farming is heavily governed by science, and the most recent science on a global basis actually does not support the contention that farmed salmon decimate wild salmon. In fact, science shows that farmed salmon impacts are limited on wild salmon populations.

It is disrespectful to the thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, who are proud to work in the aquaculture industry in this province to provide such misinformation about an industry that generated over $197 million in direct product sales in 2013, and well over a billion dollars in the last 10 years.

This industry is committed to the people and communities of this province, and we continue to support any efforts to protect and conserve wild populations of Atlantic salmon, but we will not stand by and allow misinformed allegations about our industry to go unchallenged when the science and facts clearly suggest otherwise.

Miranda Pryor

executive director

Newfoundland Aquaculture

Industry Association

Organizations: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pryorexecutive directorNewfoundland AquacultureIndustry Association

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Purple Salmon of Wisdom, forgive us
    April 23, 2014 - 23:06

    This is one meaningless paragraph, and begs the question... HOW INFORMED IS THIS PERSON? "Salmon farming is heavily governed by science, and the most recent science on a global basis actually does not support the contention that farmed salmon decimate wild salmon. In fact, science shows that farmed salmon impacts are limited on wild salmon populations." Magical Science saves us again!! "in an area representing less than two per cent of the entire 17,542 kilometres of" This factoid is pretty stunned as well - this is a very poor letter, and I want to believe 'SCIENCE' is right. I imagine the opponents of open-pen Salmon farms see this letter as an absurd bluff, with no effort to address reality. Gil Bennett and Ken Marshall get their padding-worded letters of half-truths printed, and everyone thinks it is a good strategy? This type of writing is corrosive to one's credibility.

  • Think Research
    April 23, 2014 - 12:23

    Over 50 peer reviewed scientific papers on the devasting affects and effects of sea lice, over 20 papers on viral affects on salmon and transmission to wild fish, over 30 papers showing massive detrimenal affects IMMEDIATELY after fish farms show up, etc etc. What LIES and mis-information these companies spread. So sad after watching similar signs of desperate tactics used by the tabacco industry and similar PR fact ignoring industry bought and paid for people. No single scientist that is not on the feedlot open cage fish pharmers payroll would EVER suggest this method is sustainable and doesn't not devastate (often quickly) wild fihs stocks through parasite disease amplification and mutation. How do these people sleep at night? Just google "salmon farmin affects".

  • Think Research
    April 23, 2014 - 12:18

    Over 50 peer reviewed scientific papers on the devasting affects and effects of sea lice, over 20 papers on viral affects on salmon and transmission to wild fish, over 30 papers showing massive detrimenal affects IMMEDIATELY after fish farms show up, etc etc. What LIES and mis-information these companies spread. So sad after watching similar signs of desperate tactics used by the tabacco industry and similar PR fact ignoring industry bought and paid for people. No single scientist that is not on the feedlot open cage fish pharmers payroll would EVER suggest this method is sustainable and doesn't not devastate (often quickly) wild fihs stocks through parasite disease amplification and mutation. How do these people sleep at night? Just google "salmon farmin affects".

  • Steve
    April 23, 2014 - 08:28

    Sorry Miranda, but you've not give accurate information here. In DFO's recovery potential assessment for south coast salmon population they specifically say that: "Aquaculture sites have the potential to affect fish habitat predominantly though the accumulation of organic waste" and: "Concerns over the potential impacts of aquaculture on local populations of salmonids have been raised both in Europe as well as in other areas of Canada. Concern is based on the potential for negative interactions that can result from inter-breeding and subsequent loss of fitness, competition for food and space, disruption of breeding behaviour, and transmission of disease and parasites. Even small numbers of escaped farmed salmon have the potential to negatively affect resident populations, either through demographic or genetic changes in stock characteristics. There have been many reviews and studies showing that the presence of farmed salmon results in reduced survival and fitness of wild Atlantic salmon, through competition, interbreeding and disease." They also go on to note that escaped aquaculture salmon have been found in south coast rivers, and specifically list aquaculture as one of the main threats to south coast salmon populations. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/Publications/SAR-AS/2012/2012_007-eng.html This letter is just another example of the misinformation spread by the aquaculture industry, and a sad attempt to make those of us who care about conservation as the bad guys.